Agri-tech scientists are calling on the government to relax the rules on gene editing after Brexit. Sustain member GM Freeze believes we need to keep the EU’s strong safeguards in place.
A new Environment Act, green watchdog and institutions to regulate chemicals are all needed - and must be robust enough to defend our health and the natural environment. Just some of the issues being addressed in UK environment policy. This is an extract from Sustain's Brexit Forum newsletter, June/July 2018. Sign up to receive news updates monthly or bi-monthly at: www.sustainweb.org/brexit
Wildlife and Countryside Link (who are part of the Sustain alliance) have co-ordinated 25 charities to challenge the Prime Minister to be more ambitious in the scope and detail of the newly announced Environment Bill.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Agroecology event on ‘The Environmental Watchdog: The Legal Status of Post-Brexit Environmental Protections’ will be held on 4 July. Find out how to book.
An investigation by Sustainable Fish Cities, and published today in the Independent, has found that UK fishers are losing out on markets worth an estimated £62 million because UK companies are buying-in sustainable fish from overseas.
Three separate parliamentary committees - as well as supermarket and food manufacturing associations – and former government trade advisors – have warned that the UK is ill-prepared for future trade deals.
Justice Secretary David Gauke announced yesterday the government’s intention to put offenders to work in sectors likely to be hit by the UK leaving the European Union. This could include catering, retail, manufacturing and agriculture.
The HMRC has told parliament’s Treasury Committee that a high-tech customs option for future UK imports and exports could cost UK businesses up to £20 billion per year. Agri-food currently represents 11% of trade flows by value between the UK and the EU, so food manufacturers and farmers could expect to bear some of such additional costs.
The Government confirmed on 16 May that the ‘Do No Harm’ public health duty will remain as a central tenet of UK policy after the UK leaves the European Union.
New analysis, reported in the Guardian today, has found that both the UK fishing industry and consumers would be financially worse off from a hard Brexit.
The Faculty of Public Health and a coalition of public health groups, including Sustain, are supporting a Lords amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, called the ‘Do No Harm’ amendment, and tabled by Crossbench Peer Lord Warner.
Australia is reportedly set to demand that Britain imports hormone-treated beef under a post-Brexit trade deal. Hormone-treated beef has been banned for years from all EU countries on safety grounds.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is setting up a new think tank to consider the enormous implications of Brexit on trading standards
Fresh analysis from Sustain, the food and farming alliance, suggests that Britain’s domestic regulators are hopelessly ill equipped for the extra work load that leaving the EU will entail.
A parliamentary committee has told the government’s Brexit and trade negotiators that they must not sacrifice Britain’s high food standards in order to secure trade deals.
Last week Sustain submitted evidence to the Trade Bill Committee in Parliament. In it we argued that cheap food imports are a risk to our health and to 3.9m jobs in the UK's food and farming industries.
Today, Farmer's Guardian posted a story in which Andrew Percy MP was quoted as saying comments against American chlorinated chicken feed 'anti-American bigotry'.
During December 2017 and January 2018, the UK Labour Party consulted on their policies for coastal communities, in particular fishing and the fishing industry. Read on for Sustainable Fish Cities' response to this consultation.
The National Farmers' Union highlights the forthcoming UK Agriculture Bill as "a golden opportunity to build a system that works for British farmers". The NFU has published a range of vision statements to deliver these messages to politicians and the public, seeking to "build consensus for a vision of a thriving farming sector post-Brexit and beyond".
Members of the Greener UK alliance have expressed "serious concerns" that UK environmental protections will be reduced after Brexit, despite the Government's promises to put the environment into a better state for the next generation.
The Uplands Alliance - representing hill farmers and upland land managers - reports on meetings with Defra and farming minister George Eustice MP, seeking to influence the design and priorities of new farm payment schemes.
Prime Minister Theresa May has reshuffled her Cabinet but Secretary of State for Defra Michael Gove has remained in post. Sustain welcomes his continued tenure, but also highlights the need to keep up the pressure to turn his promises into reality.
An inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology for Food and Farming shows an overriding concern that food security, environmental protection and welfare standards may be significantly weakened by Brexit.
A UN compliance committee is considering a complaint submitted by Sustain member Friends of the Earth, alleging that the UK government has breached the Aarhus Convention by not consulting the British public over the EU Withdrawal Bill
Government ministers launched the Trade Bill within hours of the consultation closing - meaning that tens of thousands of responses were not considered. The bill affects a wide range of issues from food safety to GM crops to the NHS.
Conservative MPs have joined forced with the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) calling for the environment to be given a higher profile at the heart of policy making. “Thinking differently about our environment: a holistic approach to policy” is a collection of essays by MPs arguing that we can reap previously unrecognised benefits by embedding the environment in all areas of public policy. They also emphasise the benefits of harnessing horticulture and using the environment to improve health outcomes - a key consideration for Sustain and its members.
Defra secretary Michael Gove has said that when the UK leaves the EU, there may be a case for reintroducing the scheme that allowed migrant workers to come to the UK temporarily to work in the food sector.
The UK's efforts to forge vital new trade deals to replace EU trading arrangements are reported to have hit a major snag, with global partners objecting to the suggested allocations of trade quotas.
The conservation NGO WWF has produced a blueprint for the Government's long-awaited 25-Year Environment Plan for England. In the wake of the EU referendum, the plan provides a unique opportunity to improve the way we manage our natural resources.
An article co-authored by Defra's Chief Scientific Officer argues that better regulation is needed to control how pesticides are used and affect the environment at a landscape scale.
All food premises in England should be forced to display ‘Scores on the Doors’ ratings when EU laws on food safety are converted into UK law after Brexit, argues the Local Government Association.
Despite reassurances from Government, the Repeal Bill puts in jeopardy the laws, standards and institutions that protect the healthiness and sustainability of our food, farming and fishing. The coming months will be a maelstrom of political argument and horse-trading. Good food sense is under threat, but must prevail, says Kath Dalmeny of Sustain.
The first of the big Brexit Bills is now upon us. On Thursday September 7, the EU (Withdrawal) Bill (also known as the Repeal Bill) will have its second reading in Parliament. It will establish the new foundations of how UK law will in future be created, governed, scrutinised and enforced.
Shadow Secretary of State for Brexit Keir Starmer has lodged a Reasoned Amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill (also known as the Repeal Bill), effectively opposing the second reading of the legislation, arguing that it fails to restore full sovereign power to the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Launching today an alliance of over 70 charities, NGOs, and organisations from across civil society, have called on the government to ensure that the Repeal Bill does not result in a power grab by ministers and a sidelining of the devolved nations in the Brexit process.
What should Labour fight for in the post Brexit farm policy era? We will be exploring this at an event on 24th September alongside SERA, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and The Land Workers' Alliance.
The latest report from the House of Lords committee looking at the impact of Brexit focuses on animal welfare standards, and warns against dilution of the standards in post-Brexit trade deals.
As the Queen's speech confirmed, we are to get a new Agriculture Act after we leave the EU and its Common Agriculture Policy, We had a quick rummage into the past to see what the last one said and it was rather interesting.
In his first major speech since becoming Defra Secretary, Michael Gove stakes his claim to be a defender of farming and the environment -- with strings attached.
In its most recent response to the Real Bread Campaign’s long-standing call for loaf labelling and marketing legislation that offers better protection for customers and small bakeries, Defra has proposed to take no action until after Britain has left the EU.
Post-Brexit, the UK government has committed to continuing to allow duty-free access to UK markets for some of the poorest countries in the world.
Leading UK environment groups, coordinated by Greener UK and Wildlife & Countryside Link, have set out their shared demands for the Repeal Bill that promises to transpose EU legislation into UK law.
Brexit Minister Steven Baker estimates that 800 to 1,000 EU-exit related laws will need to be amended; the Hansard Society warns that this could take place without proper parliamentary scrutiny.
The EU helps direct policy for much (not all) commercial fishing in the UK, so we can develop an ambitious new sustainable fishing regime when we leave. There will be a new Fisheries Bill in the coming months - what are the key opportunities for change?
Sustain presents principles and policies that would deliver better food and farming when we leave the European Common Agriculture Policy.
Parliament's environmental watchdog, the Environmental Audit Committee, has produced a report highlighting the confusion surrounding the future of UK chemical regulation post Brexit, and calling on the Government to clarify the situation as a matter of urgency.
The General Election to be held on June 8th 2017 will set government priorities for the next five years, with huge implications for the future of the UK’s food, farming and fishing.
The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee has launched the latest of several parliamentary inquiries into the impacts of Brexit. This one focuses on consumer protections.
Sustain launched today a new action for the public to tell their MP they don’t want Bad Food Britain.
As has been widely reported, at the end of March the Government triggered 'Article 50', the legal mechanism that begins the UK's exit from the EU. The Government also published details of the Great Repeal Bill that will transpose EU law into UK law, and a plan setting out its negotiating objectives.
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